Apple Commissions Ghanaian Photographer To Document The Changing Landscape Of Ghanaian Music: A Great Day In Accra

Prince Gyasi

Yesterday, the whole of America celebrated the civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. on what would have been his 90th birthday.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is an American federal holiday marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around King’s birthday, January 15.

On #MLKDay2019, Apple chose to turn the spotlight on Ghana.

Martin Luther King had a great relationship with Ghana and Dr Kwame Nkrumah.

The significance in the photos Apple commissioned were in two folds.

Besides taking iconic photographs of the old guard of Ghanaian music and the new crop of musicians, the venue of the photoshoot also added to the relevance.

Prince Gyasi photographed the Ghanaian greats including Gyedu Blay Ambolley, Reggie Rockstone, Abrewa Nana, Okyeame Kwame and others such as Joey B, Kwesi Arthur at the Independence Square.

It was at the same venue, some 62 years ago that Martin Luther King Jr. joined hundreds to watch Kwame Nkrumah to declare Ghana’s independence from Britain.

That was the day Kwame Nkrumah delivered the iconic line “At long last, the battle has ended!  And thus, Ghana, your beloved country is free forever!”

On a day honouring a fellow freedom activist, Prince Gyasi’s telling photography that celebrates colours brings these two heroes together again, just as Gyasi also actually brought together the previous Ghanaian music legends and the new ones who are quickly taking their seat at the table.

After watching Kwame Nkrumah deliver his speech and lead Ghana into freedom, MLK flew back to America to lead the fight that saw the emancipation of black Americans in their own home.

Kwame Nkrumah passed on the torch to MLK in many ways that bear similarities to the torch being passed on to Kwesi Arthur, Toy Boi and others.

“By reuniting and photographing both old and new hiplife artists, I’m letting the rest of the world know about the genre’s impact in Ghana and beyond,” Prince Gyasi told Apple.

“People need to hear about the culture, the source of our rhythm, our music, what influences our arts. It’s our history from our perspective. I want to make sure the new generation doesn’t lose their identity or forget about the pioneers who paved the way for them to lift their own voices,” he added.

We love those shots from Prince Gyasi – and they were shot on an iPhone!

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